EP Rapporteur warns Turkey against ousting İmamoğlu

Replacing Istanbul’s Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu would have serious consequences for the relationship between the European Union and Turkey, the European Parliament’s (EP) Turkey rapporteur Kati Piri said on Friday.

“If they remove [İmamoğlu], this will have very serious consequences for EU-Turkey relations. Better think twice before acting,” said Piri.

Turkey’s interior ministry has ousted three mayors from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in eastern and south-eastern provinces of Diyarbakır, Van and Mardin on terrorism-related charges, and Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has hinted that İmamoğlu could face a similar fate. 

İmamoğlu had visited the ousted mayors in their cities as a show of solidarity.

Soylu is expected to make a statement on the matter on Sunday. “We dismissed these three, and then the newly elected mayor of Turkey’s biggest city (Istanbul) went running to defend them … Do your job, we can deal nicely with you, but if you continue busying yourself in other affairs, we’re going to ruin you,” the minister had said on Tuesday.